MLB Team Report - Kansas City Royals - INSIDE PITCH
MINNEAPOLIS -- With the Kansas City Royals in Minnesota, site of the All-Star Game in two weeks, manager Ned Yost had a strong endorsement for closer Greg Holland.
Holland was a first-time All-Star last season and established himself as one of the premier closers, posting 47 saves and an ERA of 1.21.
He has followed that up with a tremendous first half -- posting 23 saves with an ERA of 1.99. With a fastball in the mid-90s and a devastating slider, Holland appears primed to come back to Minneapolis on July 15.
"He's dominant. He comes in and closes games out. Leading the league in saves," Yost said. "I think he should be an All-Star."
Holland pitched one inning Wednesday in Kansas City's 4-0 win, walking one batter in a non-save situation. It was his first action in three days, his first appearance at Target Field this season but probably not his last.
"I think he should come back in two weeks," Yost said.
Holland might not be the only member of the Royals' bullpen in Minneapolis for the All-Star Game. Right-handed setup man Wade Davis has been lights out, too. A starter early in his career with the Tampa Bay Rays, Davis has certainly found his niche in his second season with the Royals, appearing in 34 games with a record of 5-2 and a sterling ERA of 1.23. He was efficient during his lone appearance in the series against the Twins on Wednesday, striking out two and throwing 11 of his 13 pitches for strikes in one inning.
MLB Team Report - Kansas City Royals - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Won one
NEXT: Royals (RHP Yordano Ventura, 5-7, 3.26 ERA) at Indians (RHP Josh Tomlin, 5-5, 3.78 ERA)
--RHP Michael Mariot was optioned back to Triple-A Omaha following a disastrous outing Tuesday in a 10-2 loss to the Twins. Mariot allowed three hits and walked two in 1/3 inning. He gave up five runs, only two of which were earned.
--RHP Casey Coleman was called up from Triple-A Omaha to take RHP Michael Mariot's place on the roster. Coleman has appeared in two games with the Royals this season, pitching 2 2/3 innings and allowing two hits.
--LHP Jason Vargas tossed seven shutout innings Wednesday, improving to 2-0 with a 0.86 ERA in three starts against the Twins this season. The victory was his eighth of the season, tying a career high before the All-Star break.
--1B Eric Hosmer went 1-for-2 with three walks Wednesday and has now reached base in eight of his last nine plate appearances. It was the first time since Sept. 3 against the Seattle Mariners that Hosmer had walked three times in a game. "He's just seeing the ball better right now," manager Ned Yost said.
--OF Raul Ibanez homered in the eighth inning Wednesday, his fourth home run of the year but first since signing with the Royals on Monday. With the home run, Ibanez, at 42 years and 31 days old, became the oldest Royal to hit a homer in franchise history.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I was able to keep the ball down early and that helped me later when I was able to elevate with a couple of pitches." -- LHP pitcher Jason Vargas on what was working during his seven-shutout inning performance Wednesday against the Minnesota Twins.
MLB Team Report - Kansas City Royals - ROSTER REPORT
--RF Nori Aoki (left groin strain) went on the 15-day disabled list June 21.
--RHP Luke Hochevar (Tommy John surgery in March 2014) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 2. He is out for the season.
RHP James Shields
LHP Jason Vargas
RHP Yordano Ventura
RHP Jeremy Guthrie
LHP Danny Duffy
RHP Greg Holland (closer)
RHP Aaron Crow
RHP Kelvin Herrera
RHP Wade Davis
RHP Casey Coleman
LHP Bruce Chen
LHP Francisley Bueno
1B Eric Hosmer
2B Omar Infante
SS Alcides Escobar
3B Danny Valencia
DH Billy Butler
INF Mike Moustakas
INF Christian Colon
LF Alex Gordon
CF Lorenzo Cain
RF Raul Ibanez
OF Jarrod Dyson